Elizabeth Bates
Alumni Chair, NLC Louisiana

Raised outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by educator parents who held curiosity, humility, and tenacity in the highest regard, Elizabeth began exploring how she could make a difference in the world at a young age. Elizabeth was then pulled to New Orleans for college by both an inquisitiveness for the city as well as an academic scholarship. Her dedication to making a difference was further galvanized by attending Loyola University New Orleans, a university dedicated to the Jesuit philosophy of “Go and set the world on fire.”   

Elizabeth explored that world by living abroad for a time after college before moving back to the United States and heading to California. Here, she made her first foray into using for-profit entrepreneurship as a driver for social impact. She built the foundation of an environmentally-friendly cleaning service, that she would grow and sell five years later to seed her next projects. 

One of these next projects, and that same pull that New Orleans had on her years before, brought her back to Louisiana. It was at this time that her curiosity, tenacity, and humility found a passion to pursue: The intersection of startups, education, and social impact. She took a role as Fellowship Director at Camelback Ventures, a startup accelerator for founders of color and women growing education-related ventures. After 4 years of running the accelerator, Elizabeth moved over to the 'other side of the table', and now works with white grantmakers to make their due diligence processes more equitable in order to mitigate disparities in funding for diverse founders. 

When she is not nerding out on social impact and an ongoing anti-racism journey, Elizabeth is probably gushing over her rescue dog, Luna, and working to promote animal welfare.